No end to the violence in Mali
Civilian population in desperate need of better protection (Press Release)
Following the assassination of at least 19 unarmed Tuareg nomads in northern Mali, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) calls for an independent investigation into the incident, demanding better protection for the civilian population. “Apparently, northern Mali is not coming to rest. Radical Islamists and criminal gangs are stirring up violence and tensions in the region. Neither the UN peacekeeping force Minusma, nor the French anti-terrorist operation Barkhane or Mali’s army seem to be able to keep the civilian population safe,” stated Ulrich Delius, STP’s director, in Göttingen on Wednesday. Last Saturday, the country’s new President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had announced plans to make security issues a top priority in his new term of office.
On Tuesday, at least 17 nomads got killed when a gang of armed motorcyclists attacked two Tuareg camps. The camps were located 45 kilometers to the west of the city of Menaka in the northeast of the country. The attackers shot and killed 17 civilians who belonged to the Tuareg tribe of the Ibogholitane. There are many young people among the victims.
Last Saturday, radical Islamists killed two senior Tuareg clan leaders in the streets of Kidal. Saida Ould Cheik and Mohamed Ag Eljamet were surrounded and shot at by heavily armed motorcyclists.
The STP warned that the killings will continue to fuel the cycle of violence in northern Mali. Those who are responsible must be identified and held accountable. “The escalating violence in northern Mali shows how important it would be for Mali’s government to finally implement the peace agreement with the Tuareg, so as to establish a rule of law in northern Mali. Islamists and gangsters must no longer be able to benefit from rights-free areas,” Delius emphasized. Further, the human rights organization accused Mali’s government of hesitating to implement the provisions of the peace agreements negotiated with different Tuareg groups in 2015, thus fueling insecurity in the north of the country.
Header picture: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Waever via africom.mil